Christine Sun Kim: The enchanting music of sign language
Christine Sun Kim - Sound artist, composer
Through visual art, composition and performance, Christine Sun Kim explores ways of transmuting sound and silence. Full bio
is my favorite musical symbol.
and you notice a "p" in the score,
upon thousands of p's there may be,
of American Sign Language, ASL,
to America during the early 1800s,
mixed with local signs,
we know today as ASL.
that sound wasn't a part of my life.
that that wasn't the case at all.
in a world of sound,
in a foreign country,
customs, behaviors and norms
behave and respond to sound.
and amplify sound.
I've learned that I create sound,
you're eating from the potato-chip bag!"
your utensils on the plate."
I term "sound etiquette."
in eager nervous anticipation
already contain sound
movement is equivalent to sound.
with my thumb sticking up like that
I stick to four lines on paper.
to travel to Berlin, Germany,
I had been working as a painter.
different museums and gallery spaces,
and this struck me ...
distance me from art?
have to be the case at all.
just experienced through the ears.
taught regarding sound,
to the art community,
of support and attention I received.
that sound was your thing,
disempower me and my artwork,
around spoken language.
my literal voice to communicate,
it's as if I don't have a voice at all.
who can support me as an equal
relevancy in society today.
different ASL interpreters.
my voice and identity.
a temporary form of currency,
with a very high interest rate.
fade off into oblivion
any form of social currency.
the similarities between music and ASL.
and expressed on paper.
for a concept in ASL.
and highly inflected --
a piano metaphor,
understanding of how ASL works.
many different grammatical parameters.
to each finger as you play the piano --
to come down simultaneously
were to change the chord,
in regards to pitch, tone and volume.
different grammatical parameters,
through a musical lens?"
and repeat it over and over,
like a piece of visual music.
for "all night."
represented in this drawing.
about three different kinds of nights:
a lot more musicality than the other two.
is expressed in ASL
can express the changes in time.
and in front of the body,
and the past is to your back.
is "a long time ago."
and dramatic notion to it,
of four beats per measure.
is "at the same time."
across the head and the chest.
a hand shape called the "flash claw."
in both the head and the chest,
or at the same time.
in International [Sign].
around the world.
to demonstrate is this --
are very similar,
how ASL is alive and thriving,
about what defines social currency
its own form of currency --
to lead to a more inclusive society.
to be deaf to learn ASL,
to learn music.
to have the same experience.
to open your ears,
About the speaker:Christine Sun Kim - Sound artist, composer
Through visual art, composition and performance, Christine Sun Kim explores ways of transmuting sound and silence.
Why you should listen
Christine Sun Kim uses the medium of sound through technology and conceptualism in art, as it enables her to have the most direct connection to society at large.
She rationalizes and reframes her relationship with sound and spoken languages by using audience’s voice as her own, conducting a group of people to sing with facial movements (rather than sound), composing visual scores with sign language and musical symbols. These attempts are made to raise questions on ownership of sound, explore oral languages as social currency, deconstruct preconceived ideas about silence, and above all, unlearn sound etiquette.
As part of her practice, Kim borrows other people’s voices in order to have one and she does it by collaborating with artists such as Devonté Hynes, Thomas Benno Mader, Wolfgang Müller and Alison O’Daniel. Selected exhibitions and performances include: Sound Live Tokyo, Tokyo; White Space, Beijing; LEAP, Berlin; Carroll / Fletcher, London; nyMusikk, Oslo; Andquestionmark, Stockholm; Southern Exposure, San Francisco; Recess Activities, New York; Calder Foundation, New York; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Additionally, she was a recipient of Artist Residency at Whitney Museum, Haverford College, Southern Exposure, Arnolfini, University of Texas’ Visual Arts Center and Fellowship at TED and MIT Media Lab.
Christine Sun Kim | Speaker | TED.com